- If you missed it yesterday, make sure to check out our podcast with Dan Steinberg of The Washington Post's D.C. Sports Bog. You can listen below. We discuss the current state of the Pens-Caps rivalry, but also a whole lot more including what drives traffic to blogs, whether Ted Leonsis gets too down in the weeds with the fans, Fred Davis's bottle throwing incident, and more. If you really just went Pens analysis, skip ahead to the 36:45 mark. But you'd be making a mistake.
- Offline, we've been having endless discussions about what Malkin and Letang's next contracts will look like. I remain optimistic that the Pens can sign both at reasonable prices; Artistry is a little more skeptical. In fact, he thinks one of them may have to be traded this offseason. That post should be coming shortly.
- There's a lot of talk about how high the term-limits on the new CBA will push the average annual value (cap hit) of future contracts. One factor that I think has been under-discussed in speculation about how high salaries may get is the ENORMOUS pressure that would be put on any player who accepted a max deal. The biggest difference between hockey and basketball, which also has "max" contracts, is that having the best player in basketball means you're probably winning the title. LeBron taking a max deal doesn't prevent Miami from signing anyone who would actually make a difference. But if the Leafs were to sign Stamkos to a max deal in 2016, it would mean they'd have significantly less money to invest in positions that actually determine their success or failure. A 3rd and 4th line comprised of 6 guys making the league minimum means your team is probably going to be bad.
This won't restrain every owner in the league from offering someone a max contract, but it may restrain a player from taking one.
- I'll be at the game in Long Island on Friday night. Make sure to follow me on Twitter. And follow Artistry, too.